Edinburgh mum appeals to give daughter with Tourette’s new treatment in native Poland

Paulina on the left, Patrycja on the right.
Paulina on the left, Patrycja on the right.
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A MOTHER has launched a heartfelt plea to fund groundbreaking treatment aimed at allowing her daughter to live a “normal life” after a battle with Tourette’s Syndrome.

Patrycja Kaczor was diagnosed with the condition in July 2017 after developing a series of tics aggravated by panic attacks and sleeping problems.

The eight-year-old, who also suffers from an acute version of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), was prescribed a course of melatonin and the cardiac drug Clonidine to treat the symptoms, however both medications have proved ineffective.

But mum Paulina is now hoping the schoolgirl can receive an innovative round of treatment in her native Poland which builds on the work of American researchers who found a link between the debilitating neurological condition and an autoimmune trigger.

Experts at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland first put forward the theory that the Streptococcus infection could be linked to sparking the disorder in 1998.

And Paulina is hopeful the treatment, which first identifies where the virus has infected the body and then attacks it with a course of antibiotics, can help ease the effects of the condition.

Paulina, 29, said: “If the treatment works, it could help to reduce her symptoms and it would give Patrycja the chance to live a normal life.”

“The improvement could be massive and there is the slight chance it could get rid of the symptoms altogether.”

She added: “I will never forgive myself if I do not try to fight for her health and wellbeing.”

The Streptococcus bacteria is often responsible for triggering symptoms associated with Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS).

One theory states the cells responsible for fighting the infection get confused by the condition, effectively attacking the healthy cells of the host.

It is thought in the case of PANDAS, this can affect the cells in the basal ganglia – the area of the brain responsible for motor skills and emotions, triggering the onset of Tourette’s symptoms such as tics and behavioural disorders.

The family have already travelled to Krakow from their home in Corstorphine for Patrycja’s initial consultation with doctors, but Paulina is hopeful of raising enough money to allow her and dad Zeebie, 36, to stay in the city with their daughter – as well as covering the cost for the treatment.

Other members of Paulina’s extended family have travelled from her hometown of Lowicz – around 200 miles away – to support the couple.

Paulina added: “The therapy might last months, but I see the positive effects it brings to other children.”

“Patrycja has had a lot of help from the NHS over the years and we are really grateful for everything they have done for us.”

“Time is chasing us, and we are limited by money, but I would not forgive myself if we did not try.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com